I think of Nicaragua as a huge playground. There’s so much fun and adventures to be had in this spectacular country. I felt like a child full of excitement to explore and be amazed. Amazed by its sheer natural beauty, untouched beaches, rich history and typical Nicaraguan food. Although Nicaragua isn’t top listed, its hidden beauty is open to those who seek to believe the Latino Caribbean paradise that exists. Off the coast of Nicaragua is Little Corn Island – a tropical island paradise off the beaten path and unspoiled by tourism. Moreover, staying on the islands are affordable for budget travelers.
My top 3 highlights were:
· Volcano boarding on my birthday
· Having a motorbike tour around Ometepe Island
· Seeing the beautiful sunset in San Jaun Del Sur
I arrived in Leon after a tiring 10-hour bus ride crossing two country borders. Jo, Rainer and I checked into the newly opened Blue Hat Hostel. It was super fresh, spacious with lounge entertainment and a kitchen. To my amazement, the next day in the hostel I met a familiar face of whom I met in Palenque, Mexico. It’s easy to bump into the same people again along your travel journey. Mike remembered Jo and I and we introduced him to the clan – Rainer, Katie and Niamh (Irish ladies). The next day, I woke up singing ‘It’s my birthday, It’s my birthday! It was the first of my 23 years of being alive that I was abroad on my actual birthday. Me being me, I decided to do something big and memorable to celebrate! This year I did one of the world’s 20 unmissable extreme sports – volcano boarding! Yes, that is boarding down an active volcano!
On the ‘Magic Bus’ to Cerro Negro (Volcano Boarding spot)
Granada is beautiful. It was my favourite town in Nicaragua although it is humid! I recommend staying at The Oasis Backpackers Hostel. Very friendly staff, free 10mins international calls, PCs, hammocks, fully-equipped kitchen, free drinking water, swimming pool and buffet pancake breakfasts. I met some girls in the hostel and we decided to go shopping for groceries and to cook a healthy dinner. We all helped prepare the scrummy din dins. We ate pumpkin with rice, tortilla chips dipped in guacamole. Later on, I went for a moonlight swim in the hostel. The next day, Jo, Rainer, Katie and Niamh and I ate dinner at El Tercer Ojo (meaning The Third Eye). It was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had. We sat in our cosy corner watching Pulp Fiction on the outdoor cinema screen. We were served complimentary seasoned popcorn. Before our mains arrived, we browsed the different boutique shops in the restaurant. Niamh bought a gorgeous dungaree for a slash off the original price. Happy shopping! We all treated ourselves to happy hour drinks. I don’t know if 2 for1 drinks are good or dangerous! Our accommodation was a close walking distance. I had a rich with flavour and bursting with spices Thai Curry meal. Delicioso! Rainer and the ladies rated the German sausage meal. For dessert, the girls treated me to a chocolate sponge pudding and they all sang happy birthday. I’m glad this birthday was special in Nicaragua.
I met lots of Nicos and Nicas in Ometepe. They are friendly people and love having a good time. The above picture is the view I saw when I was on the boat heading towards the island. The boat ride is pleasant and is simple to get a ride from the mainland. Whilst on the island, I saw a beach party with kids dancing, I relaxed in a natural spring pool filled with crystal clear water and for dinner I ate out with my friends. The motorbike experience was amazing! I had a tour around the island by motorbike stopping by attraction spots. If you are feeling a challenge, you could hike a volcano. I hear its strenuous but worth the hike. Ometepe Island was fantastic and different – it’s worth a visit if you are in Nicaragua.
SAN JAUN DEL SUR
Sorry no pictures to share! It’s one of the towns that I enjoyed for what it is without taking pictures/videos. San Jaun is a wonderful coastal town and tourists visit mainly for one thing – Sunday Funday Pool Crawl!
The sunsets are absolutely gorgeous, when not cloudy! We ate at a small café for some tasty local grub. Nicaraguan food is delicious and typical dishes include: Gallo Pinto (with rice and beans), Arroz Aguado (chicken and rice stew) with Plantains and Chicharrones (pork). From San Jaun, I took two shuttles to the capital of Costa Rica.